Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD Review
When it was first introduced, SandForce’s new SF2281 controller was used with great results in exclusively high end SSDs. Things have quickly changed though as the market began looking for lower priced drives which still offer decent performance numbers.
Along with many other companies Patriot has now planted their own flag in the budget friendly SF2281 market after catering to enthusiasts with their Wildfire SSDs. The new Pyro series retains the same genes as many cutting edge drives but implements more cost effective NAND to ensure that it hits a lower price point. In this review we will be looking at the Pyro 120GB which is officially launching today for a price of $210.
With a cost of $210 the Pyro is up against some pretty fierce competition. The similarly performing Corsair Force 3 120GB can currently be found for $199 (and sometimes less) while OCZ’s previous generation flagship –the Vertex 2- hovers around the $185 mark.
Unfortunately, Patriot’s new drive doesn’t exactly start off on level footing since it doesn’t include a 2.5” to 3.5” drive adapter. If a modern computer case is being used, it will likely support 2.5” drives but there are many older cases that completely lack any 2.5” mounting locations. Most of Patriot’s competitors have seen fit to include one of these inexpensive brackets and this potential limitation should be considered when looking at the Pyro.
With an MSRP which firmly places it the upper range of the mid-grade SF2281 niche, it comes as no surprise that the Patriot Pyro 120GB’s interior architecture is very similar to that of the Corsair Force 3 120GB. Both have the same PCB with all 16 IC spots populated with 8GB (64 gigabit), single bank NAND modules. There is also an SF2281 controller chip nestled in its own space on the PCB.
Due to the price bracket which the Pyro finds itself in, Patriot went with 25nm 29F64G08CBAAA ONFi 1.0 chips rather than the higher performance and more costly Toggle Mode 1.0 NAND used on their flagship “Wildfire” drive. The ONFi 2 found in SSDs like the Corsair Force GT 120GB was also avoided. These decisions allowed for a more reasonable asking price and a broader market appeal, but there will be some trade-offs in performance. The real question is whether or not the reduction in performance can be offset by the Pyro's lower price.
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